DLA wins key public sector contract

DLA PIPER has won a major contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to act as legal advisers for all its IT projects for the next five years.

The DWP Corporate Infrastructure Technology (CIT) Group – one of the largest departments in the UK Government and a leader in the deployment of IT across government based in Sheffield – awarded the contract to the law firm.

A team of more than 15 lawyers headed by partners Richard Bonnar and Andrew Dyson will provide DWP with legal support from the Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool offices of DLA Piper, working closely with the DWP’s recently enhanced in-house team of commercial lawyers based in the North West.

Anthony Kilbride, strategic sourcing director said: “The Department is pleased to confirm the appointment of DLA Piper for the provision of its external legal advice and is looking forward to further developing the excellent working relationship over the coming years.

“The support we provide is crucial to helping DWP continue to implement a world class IT infrastructure that will support the effective delivery of pensions and benefits to millions of people,” commented Richard Bonnar, who leads DLA Piper’s public sector group.”

The Department is responsible for ensuring benefit payments totalling in excess of £125bn are made to 25 million UK citizens each year.

This is a critical time for the Department as it is looking ahead at an ambitious programme of retendering major IT contracts, many of which have been in place for the last decade.

Partner Andrew Dyson said: “We are excited by the challenge of supporting the implementation of an IT sourcing strategy that will redefine the Department’s IT landscape for the next 10 years and set new standards across the public sector. It is a reflection of the strength of our public sector practice and experience in delivering complex IT projects that we have been selected for this high-profile appointment.”

DLA Piper has advised the DWP on its IT projects since 2003.

The re-appointment, won in a competitive tender, consolidates DLA Piper’s market-leading position as a legal adviser to the public sector on IT projects and follows recent similar appointments for the Cabinet Office, the Office of Government Commerce and the Pensions Regulator.